Safe Travels

Driving_in_the_rainPreparing for late summer storms involves more than just stocking up on water and flashlights. Protecting your vehicle and driving safely during stormy weather is also essential for personal safety. When possible, keep your car under a covering during a storm. Clear away plant debris and outdoor items from around your home to minimize the chance of something falling on your car. Remember to follow these safety tips if you drive during rainy weather.

Driving: Drive below the speed limit during and after a rainstorm. Car oil on the road mixed with rainwater can cause cars to hydroplane, so drive slowly. If your vehicle starts to hydroplane, remove your foot from the gas pedal and tap the brakes to slow your car down. Drive in the center lane of the road when possible since the middle is slightly elevated, giving you better visibility. Using the center lane also keeps your vehicle away from the deep water that runs off into the roadsides.

Focus: Driving while distracted—whether the distraction is the radio, the phone, or another passenger, is even more dangerous during storms. Turn down the music and stay off the phone so as to give the road your full attention. Heavy rain will cause drivers to stop or move unexpectedly and there may be debris or deep puddles in the road. Leave extra space between your vehicle and other cars in order to give yourself time to react to other drivers and poor road conditions.

Deep Waters: Puddles on the road pose a serious hazard for cars. Always drive slowly through puddles, even if you think your car can handle the water. Puddles may turn out to be deeper than expected and splashing water can damage the engine. Avoid standing water, and never drive through moving water. Two feet of running water can sweep a car away; choose another route to avoid it.

Prepare your vehicle for stormy weather by visiting an auto repair shop in your area. Search for reputable auto repair shops through Real Local Pages (RLP), an online directory of businesses with listings for thousands of businesses across the United States. Visit the website, http://www.reallocalpages.com, to begin searching. Enter your location, then choose a search category on the main page, or enter your own search terms like “auto repair” into the search box on the main page. Each listing on the results page will display the address and phone number of the business for your convenience. Use the RLP site to find a variety of businesses and services, from auto repair shops and movie theaters, to electricians.